Kuba Giermaziak and Kim-Luis Schramm won the finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series ahead of Kolb/Stippler's sister Audi and the Walkenhorst BMW, which set a new lap record of 7:49.578 minutes with Christian Krognes at the wheel.
Kuba Giermaziak can be framed with this season balance sheet. The Pole celebrated his fourth win of the season at the finale of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the 46th NIMEX DMV 4h Race. It was also the third triumph in a row. Kim-Luis Schramm was at his side twice, once DTM driver René Rast and most recently Kelvin van der Linde.
Four wins in eight races
"The season was sensational," said Giermaziak. "I was hoping that we would consistently finish on the podium in the second half of the season. But I wouldn't have imagined four wins. That shows how well the team worked. And we didn't have a single technical defect."
For the Scherer Sport Team Phoenix, one of the most successful Nordschleife years with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II comes to an end - even if the double victory was anything but certain.
"The race was tricky," said Giermaziak. "The start wasn't great, I was only sixth. I noticed we have the same pace as the sister car and the BMW. With the pit stop strategy, we were always the last ones in rhythm. In theory, we were leading in the middle of the race. But Then the BMW flew and was four to six seconds faster than us. But then they had a problem anyway."
Penalty for Stippler
Stippler/Kolb also benefited from this. The duo again took the subscription to second place. However, they suffered a stop-and-go penalty because Stippler made contact with the W&S Cup Porsche in the first corner after the start. That took around 30 seconds. The distance at the finish line was 1.34 minutes anyway. In other words: Even without the penalty, Giermaziak/Schramm would have driven the better race.
"It was relatively difficult to catch up after the stop-and-go penalty," said Kolb. "The speed of the car wasn't quite there either. That was perhaps due to the cold temperatures. But second place is still great and we can be very happy with this season." Stippler/Kolb finished on the podium a total of six times in eight races.
Walkenhorst-BMW with lap record
Sami-Matti Trogen and Christian Krognes had to swallow a very bitter pill. The two drivers of the Walkenhorst BMW M4 GT3 could initially celebrate a new lap record. Because the race took place so late in the season in November (catch-up date for NLS 2) and accordingly in cold conditions, and because there was little activity with only 94 starters, a new record of 7m 49.578s was set.
Despite an impressive performance on the track, you couldn't convert that into a win.At what was actually the last pit stop on lap 21, there was a problem refueling. The first step was to change the fuel pump, but even so the fuel didn't really want to flow into the BMW. That initially cost an additional 1.16 minutes, only five laps later you had to stop again and all chances of victory were gone.
Tank problem ruins victory
"We've never had that before," said Krognes. "We were only able to fill up half of the tanks. We don't know exactly what it was. We were definitely driving for victory. I didn't expect the lap record. But the clear, cold air, the soft tires and little traffic on the track played their part in that. We never drove in November anyway."
The fact that Walkenhorst still made it onto the podium despite the handicap was also due to the equally strong Huber Porsche being out of the race after an accident. And the new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the hands of Dinamic Motorsport, as always, had to start in the SP-X class due to the lack of homologation. For Cairoli/Andlauer, this meant starting from the back of the starting group and longer downtimes at each pit stop. At the finish in fourth place, that finally resulted in a deficit of 5:34.928 minutes. The Cup 911 from W&S Motorsport (Blickle/Jahn) completed the top 5.
Accident on the last lap
At the end of the race, another accident involving seven cars occurred in the Galgenkopf area. After a vehicle's engine failed, slips occurred due to liquid on the track. All drivers were examined in the medical center, two pilots were then transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital for safety reasons.